ROME, September 28, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — The Vatican’s Secretary of State has acknowledged the “filial correction” sent to Pope Francis, stating today that “it's important to dialogue even within the Church.”
“People who disagree express their dissent, but on these things we have to reason, to try to understand one another,” said Cardinal Pietro Parolin as reported by Ansa.
Parolin made his comment to reporters today on the sidelines of a conference on Iraqi Christians held by ACS, a Vatican-based international non-profit that aids persecuted Christians worldwide.
On the weekend, more than 60 clergy and lay scholars issued what they called a “Filial Correction” to Pope Francis for “propagating heresy.” They asserted that the Pope has supported heretical positions about marriage, the moral life, and the Eucharist that are causing a host of “heresies and other errors” to spread throughout the Catholic Church.
The signers have respectfully asked the Pope to condemn the heresies that they say he has “directly or indirectly upheld,” and that he teach the truth of the Catholic faith in its integrity.
The Pope has so far not answered their concerns.
Cardinal Gerhard Müller, the former Prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, proposed earlier this week that an impasse between the Pope and those who have grave reservations about his teaching could be resolved by the Holy Father appointing a group of cardinals to engage in a “theological disputation” with the Pope’s critics.
The Cardinal said the formalized method of debate would be designed to uncover and establish truths in theology. It would specifically focus on “the different and sometimes controversial interpretations of some statements in Chapter 8 of Amoris Laetitia,” the Pope’s 2016 controversial exhortation on marriage and the family.
One of the signers of the Filial Correction told LifeSiteNews he hopes Cardinal Parolin’s comment about “dialogue” signifies an openness in Pope Francis to face the concerns raised by his critics.
“I really hope that Cardinal Parolin’s response to the Filial Correction signifies a breakthrough in the glacial silence that has so far rebuffed all the appeals from clergy and laity about Amoris Laetitia,” Nick Donnelly told LifeSiteNews.
“Could it be that Cardinal Parolin is also responding to Cardinal Müller’s recent proposal of a debate about Amoris Laetitia between cardinals appointed by Pope Francis and representatives of the Dubia and the Filial Correction?” he said.
“Wouldn’t that be something! I truly hope so,” he added.
The Filial Correction continues to make waves around the world, becoming a top news item in both Catholic and secular media outlets — including the AP, BBC, CNN, Fox News, Drudge Report, Huffington Post, and Daily Mail.
The story continues to evolve. The number of signers has doubled in the first couple of days, rising from 62 to 146. The organizers of the correction have denounced an effort to undermine their initiative, saying that a small number of the new names were in error as a result of “fraud.”
Critics have attempted to downplay the correction, arguing that the signers are largely obscure figures, that there was too small a number of signers to make any significant impact, that there are no cardinals backing the letter, and that the letter itself is filled with lies and hypocrisy.
But organizers say the criticisms boil down to ad hominem attacks since the critics have offered no real arguments against the Filial Correction’s main claim that the Pope is propagating heresy.